Manchester-based BBC productions are turning away from the broadcaster’s in-house edit suites after the facility’s central server suffered a “major crash” last month.
Up to 30 edit seats used by the broadcaster’s Children’s and Vision departments have been affected by the storage problems. The BBC said the initial problem had been fixed, but that further upgrades by the broadcaster and its technology suppliers along with the installation of Fabric tools could take several weeks.
“There was a major crash in the central storage on a Friday afternoon [20 January]. The problem was diagnosed and the system was up and running by the following Monday morning, but it was not running as smoothly as it should have been, so we took everybody off the shared storage to investigate further,” BBC North controller of production Mark Harrison (pictured) told Broadcast.
Harrison said the investigation was likely to take “a few weeks”.
He added: “We have not had to disrupt any of our productions by a significant degree. Some productions are using local storage to edit on BBC premises and it suited a couple of productions to move to external facilities.”
Broadcast understands that a number of productions have turned to other companies to complete work. Songs Of Praise is believed to have returned to Sumners, where it was post-produced before moving in-house at MediaCityUK, though the facility declined to comment.
The managing director of another Manchester post house, who asked not to be named, said he had been asked to provide quotes for several series that were previously edited in-house at the BBC.
Another post boss, who also asked to remain anonymous, said his facility would be taking on three editing jobs over the next week, together with “a lot of digitising”.
Harrison declined to provide details about the precise nature of the problem, but said the central storage, which is based on Harmonic’s MediaGrid and Film Partners’ MXF Server, had been “very heavily tested” before going live.
“When large, complex systems go live it is very common to identify issues that weren’t previously apparent, despite testing. Our technologists know what those issues are, and they are being fixed.”
Harrison stressed he had “complete faith” in MediaGrid and MXF Server.